Project Description

The Stradella residence is a case study in environmental materials and methods. Despite its size of approximately 7,500 square feet this project strives to incorporate resource and energy efficiency as design determinants. The form of the house is derived in part by the site with its views overlooking the stone canyon reservoir, the city, valley and the mountains beyond.

A large curved wall makes a single arc from the front to the rear of the property, covered in steel troweled black cement; this wall serves to bifurcate the house into the public and private spaces. A stair and elevator are fabricated out of open perforated steel, woven wire fabric and mesh to create an open shaft used as a solar chimney to exhaust and recover heat which collects at the high ceilings of the living room and master bedroom. The master bedroom cantilevers dramatically to maximize the views, by floating over the rear yard setback, the bedroom is able to extend into a group of mature pine trees without disturbing their root structure.

The project incorporates several innovative materials and systems which include the following: Solar domestic, pool and radiant heating, natural ventilation strategies including heat recovery and exhaust by solar chimney, engineered wood products, trusses and steel framing, recycled lumber, high performance heat mirror glazing and low voc paint. Materials of pigmented stucco, plaster, concrete, bonderized sheet metal, syndecrete®, translucent glass, beech, and exposed fir timbers are used to create a palette for this contemporary natural home.

Environmental Features

  • Passive Ventilation – taking advantage of the prevailing breezes
  • A large curved black cement wall functions as a South facing “trombe” wall for heat collection
  • The 40’ stair and elevator core serves as solar chimney to exhaust and recover heat
  • Recycled timbers are used throughout the house
  • Solar domestic pool and radiant heating for the floors
  • Engineered wood products, trusses and steel framing
  • High performance heat mirror glazing
  • Cotton insulation
  • Zero VOC paints
  • World’s first residence to use RU-134A, a non-ozone depleting, non-chlorine refrigerant

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Completed: 1998



  • Westside Today Beverly Hills 90210, March, featuring the Stradella House Download PDF 


  • BathroomTRENDS, Vol 22 No 5, featuring the Stradella Residence
  • The Hollywood Reporter, February, featuring the Stradella Residence & Hall Residence
  • LA Architect, September/October, featuring Stradella Residence
  • One Magazine, “Poolish Behavior” shot at Stradella residence